4-Point Checklist For Protecting Your Organization From Emerging Cyber Threats

By: Bill Walter on September 05, 2018

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4-Point Checklist For Protecting Your Organization From Emerging Cyber Threats

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Cyber security breaches are happening everywhere. The international Petya/WannaCry attack on outdated Windows systems, the SAMSAM attack on the City of Atlanta, and even the widespread Docusign Desperado phishing threat have gotten a lot of media attention.

When a new threat is announced, what steps do you and your team take to avoid becoming the next victim?

1. Make Sure Your Preventative Maintenance Tasks Are Complete 

If you have a reliable managed services provider, they should be taking care of this for you. If you don’t have a managed services provider, then here’s what you need to do.

Ensure your software is up-to-date. Hackers will exploit known vulnerabilities in software. Software developers release security “patches,” which users know as “updates,” to fix vulnerabilities and their software. Updating your software as these patches are released will help keep you from being the victim of a cyber attack.

Be in the know when changes happen to your technology. Security software, like antivirus, is setup to send an alert when there’s a potential issue with your network. Additional software can alert you when unauthorized software is installed. This can also include hardware issues like a failing UPS (backup) unit or a potential threat attempting to enter your network. It’s important to remember that you can’t rely on your antivirus as your sole means of stopping a hack. That’s why you need to look to your staff as well …

2. Train Your Staff On Cyber Security Best Practices

You and your coworkers are the #1 threat to your network security. Some organizations offer cyber security training to staff on their first day, but never keep up with it. Hackers know this and find ways to trick employees into clicking or downloading infected materials. If you and your staff need a refresher course, send them this free cyber security awareness guide to get them up to speed. 

3. Alert Your Staff And Coworkers About The Threat

You may know about an emerging threat, but does your entire staff know about it?

When there’s a major cyber threat knocking on your door, your whole staff should be alerted.

The quickest and easiest way to apprise your staff of the impending threat is to send them an email. In that email, you need to include what the threat is, how to identify and stop the threat, and where they can go for specific questions. It never hurts to throw in a few cyber security best practices as well.

The next time you need to alert your staff about a cyber threat, feel free to copy and paste this example, change it up, and send it to your team:


Subject: Please Read: Today’s Cyber Threat

All —

Be aware that there’s a cyber security threat spreading. The threat is called PhishPoint, and it is targeting businesses that use Office 365 and SharePoint, both of which we use here at Virginia Steel Manufacturing. It’s a sophisticated phishing scam, so make sure you’re being careful with your email and specifically, the links you click.

Our tech provider sent us a notification about the threat. You can read their alert here: http://bit.ly/2w15C3W

If you need a refresher on how to spot a phishing scam, this guide will get you up to speed on what to look for. http://bit.ly/get-cyber-safe

Let me know if you have questions. It takes a village to make sure our team and customer information is safe.

Thanks,

John Smith
Account Executive
Virginia Steel Manufacturing, LLC


Here’s the thing: you don’t have to be a tech guru or a C-level executive to tell your team about an upcoming threat. Our example above shows that John Smith is an account executive. As long as the message spreads to your team, you’ll be in good shape.

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4. Keep Up On Future Alerts

There is always going to be a new cyber threat around the corner. It’s essential to stay tuned into the cyber security community so you know what to look out for.

It can be time consuming to keep on top of the latest technology news and trends. Try subscribing to your favorite technology provider’s blog (psst – we have one here). That way, you’ll get relevant information delivered to your inbox without having to do your own research on cyber threats.

Pay attention to network alerts, too. If there’s a cyber threat knocking on your door, do not ignore it. Take action to ensure your organization is safe.

Need Help?

A cyber attack can cost you thousands in IT fees and put your hard-earned reputation at risk. If you have questions about cyber security, contact us here or reach out to our networking team at 410.685.5512.

Get your copy of the five-minute guide to cyber security here

About Bill Walter

Bill, our lead networking guru, loves showing clients how technology can be worked into their existing processes to improve efficiency. His expertise includes high level planning for internal and external networks, research and selection of hardware and software products, and hands-on installation and configuration of networks. Normally a pretty easygoing guy, Bill thinks there should be a law against wearing a Bluetooth headset when it’s not in use.